WhatsApp is one of Africa’s most popular communication applications, and it has remarkable potential as an online learning tool in this era of social distancing and the increase of online learning. As a result of the digital gap, traditional online learning is typically out of reach in low-income areas that lack access to broadband internet and large data downloads.
Communication is extremely important in both teaching and learning. As the world evolves digitally it becomes important to start looking at inclusive ways of online learning. Alongside the issue of inclusive online learning is a lack of fundamental digital skills, which prevents many young people from taking advantage of opportunities in the digital economy.
In 2020, Digify Africa’s innovation team identified this gap and began working towards a practical way of ensuring no one is left behind in the pursuit of affording digital skills for all. Digify Africa launched a series of tailored WhatsApp learning bots, a revolutionary learning solution that allows millions of young people to get access to high-quality digital skills and literacy content directly on their phones.
“Using WhatsApp to deliver learning has been an ambition of ours since we built an early demo in 2019, on the basis that using a free and widely-spread application like this has the potential to reach the highest number of learners at the lowest cost possible,” says Digify Africa CEO Gavin Weale. “The challenge has been figuring out how to make the experience of learning on WhatsApp seamless and valuable, and this partnership between Digify Africa and Facebook has allowed us to deliver the first exciting iteration of that.”
The response to the introduction of ‘bot-learning’ has been phenomenal, with young people from all over the continent, upskilling themselves through the various WhatsApp bots.
Leading in the conversation of using WhatsApp to better lives, Digify Africa produced a ‘Chat for Impact’ series where we cover different topics around the rise of innovation via WhatsApp. The Chat For Impact accelerator program is a platform designed to help organizations use WhatsApp to address social issues and amplify impact. Listen below for more:
How can mental health services be more accessible? We discuss solutions with Strong Minds, an organization with a mission to improve mental health on the African continent. Strong Minds recently launched a WhatsApp chatbot called #Amani, placing them at the forefront of using digital technology to make an impact.
In our second episode of the #ChatforImpact series, we speak with the company that allows organizations to have guided online conversations that improve the lives of their audience, Turn.io. Tune in to learn more about using digital tools for social impact.
Our CEO Gavin Weale chats about some of the innovative inventions that #DigifyAfrica has been leading through WhatsApp bots. Tune in to learn more about the work that #DigifyAfrica does in the innovation space.
How can you start learning essential digital life skills? Just say hi to Lesedi, our free WhatsApp bot that will aid you with valuable skills for your future!